The stated goal of the National Science Foundation is to create autonomous robots capable of sustained flight. Enter the RoboBee, and exit any last hope I had of avoiding a swarm of robotic, insectoid death in future.
Late last year, the Harvard scientists led by Robert Wood demonstrated that the RoboBees could both fly and swim, and in a video released Tuesday, the tiny machines have shown the ability to land and adhere to walls.
The ability to perch is an important part of designing a robot capable of flying longer distances. To help the RoboBee stick to other surfaces, the team equipped the 84-milligram robot with electrostatic adhesive patches that allow it to cling to almost any surface. Doing so uses about 1,000 times less power than it would to hover, drastically improving the robot's operational lifespan.